Adam Neumann, co-founder and former CEO of shared office startup WeWork, is working on a new rental business that has received funding from Andreessen Horowitz. According to a report from New York Timesventure capital firm invested about $350 million in Neumann’s upcoming real estate business, called Flow, which aims to provide a consistent residential experience across a chain of branded apartment complexes.
If you’re at all familiar with the history of WeWork, you might have a little déjà vu. The company, which offers flexible office space for workers, was once valued at $50 billion. But after a failed initial public offering and layoffs of thousands of employees, WeWork became known more for corporate drama than for its actual business. When Neumann stepped down as CEO in 201[ads1]9, he walked away with a $1.7 billion severance package.
As noted by Times, this investment marks the “largest individual check Andreessen Horowitz has ever written in a financing round to a company.” That puts Flow’s valuation at over $1 billion — despite critics “who have described his leadership of WeWork as a cautionary tale of corporate hubris” — and it hasn’t even launched yet.
Neumann has already bought 3,000 apartments in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Atlanta and Nashville to build out its Flow-branded apartments, which aren’t set to debut until 2023.
“We think it’s natural that for his first venture since WeWork, Adam [Neumann] returns to the theme of connecting people through transforming their physical spaces and building communities where people spend the most time: their homes,” explains Andreessen Horowitz co-founder Marc Andreessen in a blog post. “Residential real estate – the world’s largest asset class – is ready for just this the change.”